Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah

About Queen Latifah

Groundbreaking rapper and singer Queen Latifah was the first solo female hip-hop artist to score a gold album (1993’s Black Reign). She used her success in music as a launchpad for a fruitful acting career.

• The New Jersey native grew up performing in talent shows and school plays. In high school, she formed the hip-hop crew Ladies Fresh, a showcase for her beatboxing skills.
• After taking up rapping, Latifah became a member of the Jersey hip-hop collective Flavor Unit, and with some help from producer DJ Mark the 45 King, she earned a deal with Tommy Boy Records.
• Her 1989 debut album, All Hail the Queen, includes the feminist anthem “Ladies First,” featuring fellow female rhymer Monie Love.
• The rapper’s gold-selling 1993 album Black Reign includes the single “U.N.I.T.Y.,” which addresses sexism in hip-hop culture. The song earned Latifah a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance.
• In the 2000s, Latifah shifted from rapping toward traditional singing, releasing an album of soul and jazz standards, The Dana Owens Album, in 2004. She returned to a mix of rapping and singing on her seventh studio album, Persona, in 2009.
• As an actress, she starred in the Fox sitcom Living Single in the mid-’90s, scored an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 2002 musical Chicago, and nabbed Emmy nominations for her roles in Life Support (2007) and Bessie (2016).

  • HOMETOWN
    Newark, NJ
  • BORN
    March 18, 1970

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